Swedish Court Rules Medical Facilities Have Right to Require Midwives to Perform Abortions

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JÖNKÖPING, Sweden – A Swedish court has ruled against a woman who was denied employment by three medical facilities over her convictions not to assist with abortion procedures, declaring that facilities have a right to require midwives to perform abortions.

In November 2013, Höglandssjukhuset women’s clinic rescinded a job offer to new midwifery graduate Ellinor Grimmark after she explained her beliefs, allegedly telling Grimmark that they questioned “whether a person with such views actually can become a midwife.”

She filed a complaint with the Swedish discrimination ombudsman and continued looking for employment, but as a result, Värnamo Hospital’s women’s clinic withdrew a job offer to Grimmark, stating that employees are not permitted to publicly take a stand against abortion.

Ryhovs Women’s Clinic also denied Grimmark employment, stating that those who oppose abortion should not work at women’s medical facilities.

In April of last year, the ombudsman concluded that Grimmark did not have a case because she was rejected not “because of her religion, but because she was not prepared to perform duties that were part of the job description.” She appealed the decision to the district court of Jonkoping County Council.

The religious liberties group Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) assisted with Grimmark’s case, filing an expert brief that noted that the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe has agreed that “no person, hospital, or institution shall be coerced, held liable, or discriminated against in any manner because of a refusal to perform, accommodate, assist, or submit to an abortion, the performance of a human miscarriage, or euthanasia, or any act which could cause the death of a human fetus or embryo, for any reason.”

But on Nov. 12, a Swedish court ruled that medical facilities have a right to require employees to fulfill all of their job descriptions, and stated that it was proper for clinics to require midwives to assist with abortions as “the region has an obligation to ensure that women have effective access to abortion.”

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“As a midwife, I want to exercise a profession which defends life and saves lives at all cost,” Grimmark told the Swedish publication Afton Bladet. “Are healthcare practitioners in Sweden to be forced to take part in procedures that extinguish life, at its beginning or final stages? Somebody has to take the little children’s side, somebody has to fight for their right to life.”

“A midwife described to me how she had held an aborted baby in her arms, still alive, and cried desperately for an hour while the baby struggled to breathe. These children do not even have a right to pain relief. I cannot take part in this,” she said.

Grimmark has since found a job in Norway. She plans to file an appeal with Sweden’s Göta Court of Appeals.

“Being pro-abortion should not be a requirement for employment as a midwife,” said ADF International Legal Counsel Robert Clarke. “The desire to protect life is what leads many midwives and nurses to enter the medical profession in the first place. Medical centers should respect that desire and conviction.”

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  • MamaBear

    If we are not careful, doctors and midwives here is the US will eventually be required to participate in abortions of babies and probably euthanasia of the terminal and elderly as well. And like Sweden, religious freedom won’t be a protection as it will be “part of their job.”

    • Josey

      And then will come euthanasia for the disabled, those that are deemed undesirable and burdens without their consent, that is already going on in Belgium. The Hippocratic oath has gone out the window.

      • John N

        Josey, quite right. In Belgium, death squads are terrorizing the streets, picking up disabled and undesired people to euthanize them. Next on the list will be 50+ people I hear.

        Of course I don’t have any actual evidence of that, but you have, don’t you?

        • Josey

          It just looks like that will be the next step where doctor doom’s will tell families this is the way to go to lesson their burdens of taking care of what they consider the less desirables or those they claim can’t contribute to society or cost too much money to care for, another way of depopulation. Am thankful God doesn’t look at people in those terms, everyone has something to give. Your sarcasm will come back to bite you good.

          • John N

            Yes, I was being sarcastic. You on the other hand seem to be very serious about your accusations.

            So either you are basing your crazy idea of the situation in Belgium on some evidence, or you are just fearmongering. Show us the evidence that in Belgium disabled and undesired people are euthanized against their will, please.

          • Josey

            Why don’t you do your own research on the matter just as I did.

          • John N

            I did. I consulted the reports of the evaluation commission on euthanasia.That’s how I know you are wrong. What are your sources?

          • John N

            Josey, since you don’t answer my question, I am about to think you were just throwing up false accusations. Is that so?

  • Nidalap

    Well now! So many years after WWII and Sweden has circled back to the Nazi view of life…

    • Josey

      Sweden has become a cesspool of every evil.

  • Perhaps the learned judges of the court would care to come and dip their hands in the blood of the innocents whose death they are ordering?

    • Josey

      the blood is already on the hands of those who support the murdering of innocents, we are to take care of those who are not able to care for themselves. James 1:27 Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world. I would suggest that Christ meant all those who cannot care for themselves even if James doesn’t mention the disabled or mentally ill in this passage. We are not animals, we have been given an eternal spirit by God and He expects us who are able to take care of others to do so without complaining and murmuring and without expecting anything in return.

  • Josey

    Midwives study to deliver babies not kill them.